Lewis L Zickel

picture of Lewis Zickel  

Lewis Lowenstein Zickel was born in 1927 in Newark, New Jersey, and as a 9 year old boy, visited West Point.

At that young age, he made the decision that he would attend the academy one day. Lewis entered the Newark College of Engineering, and after a year was appointed to West Point by from New Jersey Senator Hawkes. He went to West Point in 1945, and was part of the gymnastics team as well as the Jewish Choir and the Spanish Club. As a cadet, he also worked on the yearbook and carried the guidon for the K-1 company.

Zickel was chosen for infantry after graduating in 1949 and attended the Ground General School at Fort Riley, Kansas, and the Basic Infantry Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. While at the latter, he met his future wife, Barbara Kessler.

Lewis was set to be shipped to Japan, but then the Korean war broke out. He was placed at the Naktong River defensive position as part of the Charlie Company, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Company. He earned six battle stars as a regimental air liason officer. He also was awarded the Bronze Star for valor, two air medals and the Combat Infantryman Badge. 

On return from Korea, Lewis married Barbara and was stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey, in command of a basic training company. After this, he transferred to First Army Headquarters. In 1952, his first child, Mark Henry was born, followed by a daughter, Karen Sue, in 1957. By this time the family had moved to Atlanta and Zickel had resigned and taken a place in the US Army Reserves. He became a civil and structural engineer. In 1967, his marriage to Barbara ended in divorce. 

In the early '70s, Zickel had moved to New York, and met Israeli born Yael Novak. They married in  1973. 

In 1965, Lewis was invited to be involved in building a Jewish chapel at West Point. He became the founding member oft he West Point Jewish Chapel Fund, supervising the design and construction of the Cadet Jewish Chapel. He then became President of the West Point Jewish Council. He was also the engineering project manager for the class of 1949's 50th reunion gift to the Academy, a lodge for cadet recreational activities. He continued to be very involved in pro bono engineering work for the Academy, including the renovation of the Catholic Chapel and the Old Post Chapel.

Zickel was active in his home community of Dobbs Ferry, NY, and was deputy mayor of the town for 10 years. 

In 2007, Zickel was nominated by his class to as a Distinguished Graduate of West Point. The previous year, he received the Order of Aaron and Hur, which is the highest award a civilian can receive from the Army Chief of Chaplains. 

At his 80th birthday celebrations at West Point, he received a cadet saber from the West Point Superintendant, for lifetime dedication to the Academy. Later that year, after his death, he received posthumously, the Distinguished Services Award from the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics during the Army Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony.